Macbeth Power

The tragedy, Macbeth. presents William Henry Shakespeare’s most complex version of evil. In this play, Shakespeare depicts the spreading influence of evil over the ambitious mind of Macbeth, which leads him and his wife to commit the most violent act that causes their final defeat.

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The relationship between Macbeth and his wife is essential to the understanding of the psychology that causes the incline of evil in this play. It is evident throughout the play that Lady Macbeth operates her husband, Macbeth, with significant power. Lady Macbeth’s pivotal role in Macbeth demonstrates a manipulative, power-hungry psychosis which leads to Macbeth’s spiral into insanity and his eventual downfall.

The tragic downfall of Macbeth can be mainly connected to the influence of Lady Macbeth. Although Macbeth’s own insecurities are what lead him to his dependence of his wife, Lady Macbeth can be blamed for his corruption. In their unequal relationship, she possesses the power to influence her husband’s decisions in a negative matter. Lady Macbeth realizes that she is stronger than Macbeth. She knows that Macbeth “art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.(V, ii, 83). ” She means that Macbeth is lacking the evil that must accompany his ambition. After Macbeth’s interaction with the witches, his strong sense of ambition is triggered (ssrn Rahid). One of the first things he does is tell Lady Macbeth that she will be a queen. She immediately starts planning King Duncan’s murder without even doubting the witches’ prophecies. After Lady Macbeth informs Macbeth of her plans, he is reluctant and uncertain that it is the wise thing to do. Lady Macbeth then threatens him, and challenges his capabilities by insulting his masculinity. “When you durst do it, then you were a man (IV,iii,93).” She tells him that he will only be a man if he commits murder. She manipulates Macbeth and repeatedly questions his manhood. Lady Macbeth manages to completely change his mind and drive him to commit murder. Through her words, Lady Macbeth poisons her husband into becoming a murderous criminal. While Lady Macbeth uses her manipulative personality to shame her husband into the plan, he is the one who voluntarily performs the actions. Without Lady Macbeth, however, Macbeth would have most likely lost his initial ambition and been too weak to perform these wicked acts.

Lady Macbeth is a character who is being consumed by madness from the initial beginning of the play. Madness is defined as a state of severe mental illness (Mirriam- Webster). The application of a psychoanalytical approach is necessary to understand a character of her *intellect*. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theory examines the manifestation of issues which arise from a persons subconscious. (Louis Tyson) . Lady Macbeth can be classified as abnormal because she is incapable of recognizing the severity of her actions in the murder of Duncan. She says, “A little water clears us of this deed (II,ii, 64).” Lady Macbeth is clearly unfazed from the murder of Duncan. She perceives it as dismissible as she can run water on her hands to cleanse her from this villainous act. Later in the play, Lady Macbeth is seen sleepwalking and trying to rub a spot off her hand, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say! (V,I,35!).” One can see that she is fully unconscious and her superego has overpowered her. This contradicts the idea that she was “unfazed” from the murder of Duncan as her unconscious self is in a worried state. According to Louis Tyson, the unconscious is a dynamic entity that engages us at the deepest level of our being. Freud believes that “the notion that human beings are motivated, even driven, by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware. ( Louis Tyson Critical Theory Today). In this scene, Lady Macbeth’s insanity is diagnosed by the Doctor, who behaves as the “psychoanalyst.” He finds that “Foul whispering are abroad. Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets (V,i,71-73).” The Doctor observes Lady Macbeth’s dreams. After witnessing Lady Macbeth’s distress, he diagnoses her as an “infected mind.” Lady Macbeth appears in the condition of a sleepwalker, in extreme delusion, in a situation were there is no conscious command, which allows her to admit the crime (Periodicos). As a result of her previous mental state, the development of feelings of guilt which caused this somnambulant scene is inevitable. Lady Macbeth, subconsciously confesses to a crime due to her profound guilt which proves that she is affected by a mental disease.

The tragic downfall of Macbeth can be mainly connected to the influence of Lady Macbeth. Although Macbeth’s own insecurities are what lead him to his dependence of his wife, Lady Macbeth can be blamed for the downfall of Macbeth. In their unequal relationship, she possesses the power to influence her husband’s decisions in a negative matter. Lady Macbeth realizes that she is stronger than Macbeth. She knows that Macbeth “art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.(V,21,i) ” She means that Macbeth is lacking the evil that must accompany his ambition. After Macbeth’s interaction with the witches, his strong sense of ambition is triggered (ssrn Rahid). One of the first things he does is tell Lady Macbeth that she will be a queen. She immediately starts planning King Duncan’s murder without even doubting the witches’ prophecies. After Lady Macbeth informs Macbeth of her plans, he is reluctant and uncertain that it is the wise thing to do. Lady Macbeth then threatens him, and challenges his capabilities by insulting his masculinity. “When you durst do it, then you were a man (IV, iii, 93).” She tells him that he will only be a man if he commits murder. She manipulates Macbeth and repeatedly questions his manhood. Lady Macbeth manages to completely change his mind and drive him to commit murder. Through her words, Lady Macbeth poisons her husband into becoming a murderous criminal. While Lady Macbeth uses her manipulative personality to shame her husband into the plan, he is the one who voluntarily performs the actions. Without Lady Macbeth, however, Macbeth would have most likely lost his initial ambition and been too weak to perform these wicked acts.

William Shakespeare highlights the relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to suggest that limitless ambition leads to downfall.The influence of Lady Macbeth drove him to commit the first murder, which was needed to set off a chain of events that made Macbeth increasingly unstable. The Macbeth that was once a genuine, respectful man, was influenced severely by his mentally insane wife. The play could have been different if Lady Macbeth would not have triggered his toxic behavior. Macbeth feeding into Lady Macbeth’s harmful words was one of the main reasons that his negative transformation took place. Macbeth made the horrible mistake of following the instructions of others which costed his own life.

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